MASBATE, October 13, 2022 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program in Bicol, together with the development officers from the National Program Management Office (NPMO) and DA-SAAD Phase 2 implementers from the DA Regional Field Office CALABARZON (RFO-4A), conducted joint monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities in the Bicol Region from October 3 to 6, 2022 to review and assess the program’s implementation and document farmers’ success stories.
The conduct of the M&E activity served as a briefer for SAAD phase 2 implementers for Region 4A. The information gathered during the activity will serve as a basis to come up with policy recommendations to further assist the SAAD farmers in CALABARZON.
In preparation for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2023-2028 extension of the program, RFO-4A Focal Person Wilmer S. Faylon, RFO-4A Report Officer John Carlo Narvacan, and RFO-4A Technical Staff Girsky V. Anda, were accompanied by SAAD NPMO Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) Head, Mr. Darwin A. Pamatmat, NPMO Information Technology (IT) Head, Mr. Randy C. Ocampo, and NPMO Focal for Region 5 Ms. Marie Abigail G. Dela Cruz in their visit to the Bicol Region.
On October 3, the group went to the DA RFO 5 Field Operations Division (FOD) for a brief meeting with Chief and SAAD Focal Person Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez in which the overall implementation of the program in the region was discussed. They then proceeded to the Albay Breeding Station for an orientation on the program’s organizational structure, process flow, and activities with SAAD Report Officer Maribeth Mangalino, SAAD Action Officer Renato Acasio, Sorsogon and Albay Agriculture Program Coordinating Officer (APCO) Florentino Ubalde, Jr., and Albay Assistant APCO, Jayson Gonzales.
In the following days, the group met with the SAAD Provincial Program Management Support Office (PPMSO) Staff in Masbate to conduct field monitoring and evaluation activities on SAAD farmers in the municipality of Balud.
The SAAD officers visited production sites of SAAD High-Value Crops (HVC) beneficiaries: the Nagkakaisang Mamayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran ng Panubigan (NAMATUKA), Poultry Production recipients, Dao Farmers’ Association (DFA), and the organic agriculture farmers from Jintotolo Island Farmers’ Association (JIFA).
NAMATUKA President Jope Vasquez presented the association’s communal vegetable garden and the newly installed Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) that was provided by the program under its HVC Production and Enterprise Development Package in August 2022. He also showcased their association’s store where they sell their fresh vegetables and food products like squash molido.
Meanwhile, the DFA President Allan Delis shared the association’s continued progress on their production and their small-scale egg enterprise within the area. Mr. Delis expressed his gratitude to the program and shared how it helped their association a lot.
The team also went to the island barangay of Jintotolo to visit the SAAD organic agriculture farmers of JIFA. The association’s president, Ivan Alcagno, showed their communal vegetable production where they cultivate chili peppers – an ingredient to their product, sinamak. He also shared how the project provided food in their community and how it encouraged youths to engage in farming.
Known for having similar topographic features with the Bicol Region in terms of low-lying coastal areas, far-flung barangays, and marginalized populations, the SAAD team in the CALABARZON region looks forward to providing assistance to the marginalized farmers in their region after learning the significance of the SAAD Program, understanding its impact to the lives of its beneficiaries, and properly executing its mission from what they have witnessed on the field. ###
Writer: Jay A. Ogaya, DA-SAAD Masbate Information Officer
Maribeth A. Mangalino, DA-SAAD Report Officer
Juan Paulo A. Quizana, DA-SAAD Bicol Information Officer
Jay A. Ogaya, DA-SAAD Masbate Information Officer
Jonathan S. Claro, DA-SAAD Bicol IT Officer
Dave M. Villanueva, DA-SAAD Masbate Area Coordinator